Amplified: THEREFORE BE imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: As children copy their fathers you, as God's children, are to copy him. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Be becoming therefore imitators of God, as children beloved. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: Become, then, followers of God, as children beloved,
THEREFORE BE IMITATORS OF GOD: ginesthe (2PPMM) oun mimetai tou theou: (Eph 4:32; Leviticus 11:45; Matthew 5:45,48; Luke 6:35,36; 1Peter 1:15,16; 1John 4:11) Note: All verbs in bold red indicate commands, not suggestions!
DON'T JUST TALK IT!
Therefore (3767) (oun) is a strategic term of conclusion which introduces a logical result or inference from what precedes (so, consequently). Always pause and ponder "therefore." What has Paul just said? (See esp Eph 4:29-32-note; Eph 4:31-32-note).
Be imitators of God - Practically this is synonymous with the charge for believers to be imitators of Jesus (God). Watch how Jesus walked and walk like Him (Read 1Jn 2:6-note where such a walk is also evidence that one is a genuine believer! cp 1Pe 2:21-note, 1Cor 11:1). Note how Jesus was enabled to walk the way He walked, recalling that He emptied Himself of His divine prerogatives (Php 2:5-7-note).
Be (1096) (ginomai) means to become or come into existence (to be born). They were already "born" but now were to live as ("be") newly born ones (as alluded to in the second column in the table above). The verb is in the present imperative, a command calling for continual imitation! Just try to keep this command in your OWN strength! You can't. But fortunately (better because of God's grace), God's commandments always include His enablements! The only way to imitate the life of Jesus is by relying on the same power Jesus relied upon to obey His Father, the power of the Holy Spirit. Note that just after Jesus' ministry was inaugurated by the Spirit coming upon Him at His baptism, the same Spirit filled Him and led Him into the wilderness! (Mt 3:16, Mk 1:12, Mt 4:1, Lk 4:1-2, 14). The Jesus way is the only way we can obey this command to be imitators!
Imitators (3402) (mimetes [word study] from miméomai = imitate <> English = mimic) is an imitator, follower, actor, impostor. Plato said a mimetes was one who represents characters. Aristotle said it was one who is like another.
A mime is one who acts a part with mimic gestures and action. Have you ever seen somebody mime? They don’t say anything, do they? In other words, what Paul is saying is,
Mimetes means "do as I do." As noted above the present imperative is a command calling for divine imitation to be their way of life. Paul says for us to continually "mimic" God's attitudes and actions just described (strengthened by His Spirit cf prayer of Eph 3:16-note). It speaks of the direction of our life, not perfection.
Remember that when you mime you let your actions speak in place of your words. If we are to be like God, we must mime Him and let our actions speak louder than our words by being kind, tender hearted, forgiving (Eph 4:32 -note)!
Barclay - "When Paul talked of imitation he was using language which the wise men of Greece could understand. Mimesis, imitation, was a main part in the training of an orator. The teachers of rhetoric declared that the learning of oratory depended on three things-theory, imitation and practice. The main part of their training was the study and the imitation of the masters who had gone before. It is as if Paul said: "If you were to train to be an orator, you would be told to imitate the masters of speech. Since you are training in life, you must imitate the Lord of all good life." (1Pe 2:21-note) (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible)
What a lofty and privileged call this is - called to to be imitators of the Living and True God. Oh, Father, forgive us for forgetting all too often who we now are and more importantly "Whose" we now are (not our own but bought with a price to glorify or give a proper opinion of You in our bodies to the sons of disobedience who live in darkness!) Amen.
Jesus gave a similar exalted charge in His Sermon on the Mount...
Illustration of Imitators of God - Welsh Revival of 1904 -- In an eyewitness report of the great Welsh revival of 1904, G. Campbell Morgan wrote, “The horses are terribly puzzled. A manager said to me. ‘The haulers are some of the very lowest. They have driven their horses by obscenity and kicks. Now they can hardly persuade the horses to start working, because there is no obscenity and no kicks.’”
AS BELOVED CHILDREN: os tekna agapeta: (Jeremiah 31:20; Hosea 1:10; John 1:12; Colossians 3:12; 1John 3:1,2) (Jeremiah 31:20; Hosea 1:10; John 1:12; Colossians 3:12; 1John 3:1,2)
In Colossians 3 Paul used a similar affirmation (even adding "chosen" and "holy") preceding his call to motivate the saints at Colossae to live like God would live...
As (5613)(os) is a comparative particle (learn to meditate on these terms of comparison, seeking to know what is being compared, etc). Here it points to the manner or character in which the imitation is to be made good, and indicates at the same time a reason for it. They are children of God, experiencing His love and this should motivate them to imitate His forgiveness. Children should be like their father, and love should meet love (Like Father, like son)! How are you doing beloved of God? Do men see your good ("God") works done in such a way that they bring glory to your Father? (Mt 5:16-note).
Beloved (27) (agapetos from agape) means dear or very much loved (in context by God their Father!). It is a love called out of one’s heart by preciousness of the object loved. And best of all it's the same word the Father used to describe His Son!
The "Beloved" are those to whom Christ has shown love, as so wonderfully described by John...
Children (5043) (teknon [word study] from tikto = bring forth, bear children, be born) is strictly a child produced, male or female, son or daughter. Teknon is thus a child as viewed in relation to his or her parents or family. In the plural, teknon is used generically of descendants, posterity or children.
Paul used teknon earlier (Eph 2:3-note) to point that we were all born with Adam's depraved nature and were fully deserving of the wrath of God ("children of wrath"). What a contrast a 3 chapters makes (and the love of God poured out on and in our hearts)! Paul is reminding his readers that they were in Christ, were empowered by His Spirit and should now be continually motivated by a desire to walk in a manner pleasing to their new Father (formerly Satan had been their father, John 8:44, 1Jn 3:8-10,12).
Note that another Greek word huios (5207), translated son, differs from teknon in that teknon gives prominence to the fact of birth, whereas huios stresses the dignity and character of the relationship and usually speaks of one who is fully mature. Despite these distinctions, these words often overlap in meaning and thus are often used seemingly without discrimination. Therefore we should not press their semantic differences in every case but allow the context to rule in the interpretation (always a good rule!)
To reiterate, teknon is a word for children that emphasizes the birth relationship.
Teknon was used in secular Greek writings as a form of familiar, tender or affectionate address to speak of one kindly even if they were adults referring to them as "my son" or "my child". For example Jesus speaking to the paralytic declared
In the NT, pupils or disciples are called children of their teachers, because the latter by their instruction nourish the minds of their pupils and mold their characters. For example Paul writes...
Teknon takes on special theological significance when the Bible calls believers the children of God (John 1:12; 11:52; Acts 17:29; Rom 8:16, 21; 9:8; Phil 2:15; 1 John 3:1f, 10; 5:2 - note one use by Paul is not of those who are born again and uses genos -- "offspring" -- not teknon in the Greek text - see if you can determine which one is not referring to the members of the family of God) or more literally "born ones" of God. In using teknon in this context the NT is not saying believers are "childlike" but tat we are members of God's family as thus heirs, Paul affirming...
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William Barclay has an illustration of one who sought to imitate His Father writing that "In the early church, when a man gave his life to Jesus Christ as Savior, he often had to leave his job because it conflicted with his profession of faith. William Barclay points out that some years ago, the same thing happened to F. W. Charrington, the heir to a fortune made by brewing." “Charrington was passing a tavern one night. There was a woman waiting at the door. A man, obviously her husband, came out, and she was trying to keep him from going back in. With one blow of his fist, the man felled her. Charrington started forward and then he looked up; the name above the tavern was his own. Charrington said, ‘With that one blow that man did not only knock his wife out, he also knocked me clean out of that business forever.’” Charrington gave up the fortune he might have had, rather than touch money earned in such a way. (From Morning Glory, July 26, 1993)
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Copy The Master - The Louvre in Paris is perhaps the most famous art museum in the world. It displays originals by such masters as Delacroix, Michelangelo, Rubens, da Vinci, Ingres, Vermeer, and many others.
Since 1793, the Louvre has encouraged aspiring artists to come and copy the masters. Some of our most famous modern artists have done that and have become better painters by copying the best the world has ever known.
An article in Smithsonian magazine tells about Amal Dagher, a 63-year-old man who has been duplicating art at the Louvre for 30 years. Dagher remains in awe of the masters and continues to learn from them. He said, "If you're too satisfied with yourself, you can't improve."
Paul instructed us to be "imitators of God" (Ephesians 5:1). In his first letter to the Thessalonians, he commended the believers because they were becoming like the Lord and setting an example for others (1Thessalonians 1:6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
Like the Louvre copyists, we'll never reach perfection before we get to heaven. Even so, we must resist the temptation to be satisfied with our present imitation of Jesus. We need to keep looking to Him, learning from Him, and asking for His help. Let's copy the Master. —David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
More like the Master I would live and grow,
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Ephesians 5:1 - F B Meyer - Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. (r.v.)
Children mostly resemble their father. There is often an unmistakable family likeness, which compels the most casual observer to exclaim, “The very image of his father.” Oh that in each of us there might be that which would make men think of God!
Put away your former manner of life (Ephesians 4:22). — The old man stands for the collection of habits, sayings, and doings which characterised our unregenerate days. The apostle says that they are to be put away suddenly, instantly. Evidently this is possible, or such a command would not be issued. Men speak of a gradual reformation, and advise the piecemeal discontinuance of evil. God, on the contrary, bids us treat the evil past as a company of soldiers would bandits and outlaws. There is the greater reason for this, as the old man waxeth corrupt. Even Martha could not bear the opening of her brothers vault.
Be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23). — We are reminded of Romans 12:2. The mind needs to be brought into daily, hourly contact with God’s thoughts, as contained in Scripture, that it may be renewed; else our constant association with the men and women of the world, their maxims and practices, will inevitably and sorrowfully deteriorate it. The only source of daily renewal is fellowship with God.
Put on the new man. — Of this the apostle affirms that it is according to God, and has been created. Our Lord created this beauteous dress when He rose from the dead. The day of resurrection was one of creation. All the habits and dispositions of a holy, godlike life have been prepared for us in Him, and await our appropriation; and as they are according to God, so soon as we put them on we shall become imitators of God as dear children. (Meyer, F. B. Our Daily Homily)
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Living Up To The Name - Our 9-pound Yorkie was barking frantically and digging furiously to get at a chipmunk that had scurried under a shed. She looked at me with an expression that seemed to say, "Can't you do something to help me catch it?" I didn't help her, but neither did I scold her. While I wish she could distinguish between rats and chipmunks, it's natural for her to go after any rodent. She is, after all, from a family of small terriers that were bred in Yorkshire, England, to kill rats. So she's living up to her family name.
God expects His "dear children" (Eph. 5:1), who have been delivered from spiritual darkness and made to be "light in the Lord" (v.8), to do what we were redeemed to do. He wants us to "walk in love, as Christ also has loved us" (Ep 5:2), and not to speak or live as unbelievers who have no share in God's eternal kingdom (Ep 5:5, 6).
Obviously, living as God's children is not a matter of instinct. We are challenged to remind ourselves daily of who we are by God's grace. Only as we do this consistently and become "imitators of God as dear children" can we have the joy of knowing that we please the Lord.
When we do what God saved us to do, we'll be living up to the family name. --H V Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Dear Jesus, take my heart and hand,
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Just Like My Dad! - Like so many kids her age, my daughter Julie loves to play basketball. Of course she's had more than a little encouragement, since that is my sport of choice.
Much of what Julie knows about the game has come from our driveway sessions. Occasionally, as I have watched her playing ball with friends, I've heard her remark after making a long shot, "Just like my dad!"
That's a good feeling, but the other day she said something that made me feel even better. We were talking about how she imitates me on the court, and she said, "Dad, Christians should be imitators too. We should imitate Jesus. Then we could say, 'Just like Jesus.'"
Julie is right. We need to know how Jesus responded to trouble--and react as He did. We need to know how He answered critics--and answer as He did. We need to know how Jesus cared for others--and treat them as He did.
That's a lofty aim, but it should be the goal of every Christian. We can only begin to do this by regularly studying God's Word and daily seeking the Holy Spirit's guidance in all that we do.
Imagine the joy it would give our Lord if we would always try to handle life just like Jesus. --J D Brannon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
O blessed Jesus, help us
Amplified: And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Live your lives in love - the same sort of love which Christ gives us and which he perfectly expressed when he gave himself up for us in sacrifice to God. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: be ordering your behavior within the sphere of love, even as Christ also loved you and gave himself up in our behalf and in our stead as an offering and a sacrifice to God for an aroma of a sweet smell (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and walk in love, as also the Christ did love us, and did give himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odour of a sweet smell,
AND WALK IN LOVE: kai peripateite (2PPAM) en agape: (Eph 3:17; 4:2,15; John 13:34; Romans 14:16; 1Corinthians 16:14; Colossians 3:14; 1Thessalonians 4:9; 1Timothy 4:12; 1Peter 4:8; 1John 3:11,12,23; 4:20,21)
Walk in love - As imitators of God, Who is love.
Walk (4043) (peripateo from peri = about, around + pateo = walk, tread) literally means to walk about here and there or to tread all around. Peripateo then came to mean to make one’s way, to make progress, to make due use of one’s opportunities and finally (as used by Paul in Ephesians), to live, to regulate one’s life, to conduct one’s live. Most of the NT uses of peripateo refer to daily conduct.
Paul uses the present imperative which is a command calling for their way of life and daily conduct to be in the sphere of unconditional, sacrificial love, the love that God is, the love that is a fruit of His indwelling Spirit in the yielded, obedient saint (Gal 5:22-note, Ro 5:5-note). In short Paul is calling not for a natural walk (in our own innate power), but a supernatural walk (enabled by the power of the Spirit Who indwells us). If you try to obey this command in your own strength, you will place yourself under legalism and you will fail! Instead of "self-reliance" we need "Spirit-dependence!" Continually!
Paul's point is that we are a new creation in Christ (Ephesians 1-3) and should demonstrate this new life by relying on a new power (the Spirit) Who enables us to continually order our behavior in love (within the sphere of love, the "atmosphere" if you will, of supernaturally empowered agape love).
Peripateo is a favorite word of Paul in Ephesians, used to describe our behavior both before and after we are saved...
In Colossians 4 Paul uses peripateo charging the saints to
Love (26) (agape) is unconditional, sacrificial love which God is. It is love which is commanded in believers, empowered by His Spirit, activated by personal choice of one's will, is not based on one's feelings toward the object of one's love and is manifested by specific actions (see 1Cor 13:4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (notes) for a succinct list of these actions). Agape love speaks of a love called out of one’s heart by the preciousness of the one loved, a love that impels one to sacrifice one’s self for the benefit of the object loved. It is the love shown at Calvary. The prototype of this quality of supernatural love is the Father's love for sinful men as manifest by the Son's sacrifice on the Cross. That is the love in which we are to be rooted and grounded and in which we are called to walk!
Agape is God's willful direction toward man. It involves God doing what He knows is best for man and not necessarily what man desires. For example, John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world, that he gave." What did He give? Not what man wanted, but what God knew man needed, i.e., His Son to bring forgiveness to man.
Loved (25) (agapao) describes the love God gives freely, sacrificially and unconditionally regardless of response -- love that goes out not only to the lovable but to one’s enemies or those that don't "deserve" it. Agapao speaks especially of love as based on evaluation and choice, a matter of will and action. This love is not sentimental or emotional but obedient and reflective of the act of one's will with the ultimate desire being for another's highest good. Since it is unconditional, this love is still given if it's not received/returned! Agape gives and give and gives. It is not withheld.
Agape love is commanded of believers, empowered by His Spirit, activated by personal choice of one's will, not based on one's feelings toward the object of one's love and manifested by specific actions (see 1Cor 13:4-8 (notes) for a succinct list of these actions). Agape love speaks of a love called out of one’s heart by the preciousness of the one loved, a love that impels one to sacrifice one’s self for the benefit of the object loved. It is the love shown at Calvary. The prototype of this quality of supernatural love is the Father's love for sinful men as manifest by the Son's sacrifice on the Cross.
Wuest - This love is the agape love which God is, which God exhibited at the Cross, which Paul analyzes in 1 Corinthians 13, and which is the fruit of the Spirit in the yielded saint. The saint is to order his behavior or manner of life within the sphere of this divine, supernatural love produced in his heart by the Holy Spirit. When this love becomes the deciding factor in his choices and the motivating power in his actions, he will be walking in love. He will be exemplifying in his life the self-sacrificial love shown at Calvary and the Christian graces mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13. (Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
Speaking to faithless Israel God speaks of coming days of restoration declaring...
In Romans Paul explains that even while we were helpless and ungodly, Christ died for the ungodly adding...
JUST AS CHRIST ALSO LOVED YOU AND GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR US: kathos kai o Christos egapesen (3SAAI) hemas kai paredoken (3SAAI) heauton huper hemon: (Ep 5:25; 3:19; Matthew 20:28; John 15:12,13; 2Corinthians 5:14,15; 8:9; Galatians 1:4; 2:20; 1Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 7:25, 26, 27; 9:14,26; 10:10,11; 1Peter 2:21, 22, 23, 24; 1John 3:16; Revelation 1:5; 5:9)
Just as (2531) (kathos) -- Christ's life and love is our example, a love which led Him to sacrifice His life for us on the cross. Notice that this is a term of comparison, calling for us to ponder what is being compared, why, etc? In light of the incredible truth in Romans 1-11, Paul then urged the saints in Rome (and us) to present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him, our spiritual service of worship (Ro 12:1-note), yea, even a "sweet smelling savor" unto Jehovah! How is this even possible? Because we now are in Christ, possessing His perfect righteousness (Ro 1:16-17-note) and in His Son, the Beloved, we are "accepted" (Eph 1:7KJV-note) and can now offer up an acceptable sacrifice. Is this not good news! Is this not another way to describe "death to self?" (Mk 8:34-36) And don't miss the "sanctifying power" of your sweet smelling sacrifice. What do I mean by "sanctifying power?" First, note that in the immediate context (only a "but" separates "sweet smelling aroma" in Eph 5:2 from the next word in Eph 5:3) Paul mentions immorality, a sin (and really the only sin that functions this way - 1Cor 6:18) in which we offer to the idol of pleasure and perversion (all sex outside of marriage is essentially a perversion) our bodies as a living sacrifice! (1Cor 6:15-17)
For we never can know
Christ (5547) (Christos from chrio = to anoint, rub with oil, consecrate to an office) is the Anointed One, the Messiah, Christos being the Greek equivalent of the transliterated Hebrew word Messiah.
Loved (25) (agapao) - see agape. Paul is previewing a theme he will return to at the end of this chapter. Christ sacrificed Himself for the church because He loves her and wants to make her holy and blameless. Believing husbands and wives and all Christians are to love each other with the same kind of sacrificial love.
Gave Himself up - ultimately this speaks of His death in our place! In the context of Christian's being commanded to walk in love, we see that such a walk means a death to self and a giving of self to others (as Christ did).
Himself (heautois) is a reflexive pronoun, emphasizing Christ's personal involvement (He initiated the action and carried out the action ... all for us).
Gave up (3860) (paradidomi from para = alongside, beside + didomi = give) means to give alongside. The basic idea is to give over from one's hand to someone or something with particular reference to a right or an authority. This concept is illustrated in the devil's attempt to tempt our Lord...
In the ancient world paradidomi was used as a technical term of police and courts = ‘hand over into the custody of’. The idea is to give over into one’s power or use and involves either the handing over of a presumably guilty person for punishment by authorities or the handing over of an individual to an enemy who will presumably take undue advantage of the victim, as was the case in the arrest and trials that followed our Lord's being giving over.
In Galatians 2:20 (see note) paradidomi is in the aorist tense which Vine states "is in the point tense (Ed: "aorist") because it refers to the “one act of righteousness,” Romans 5:18 (see note), in which the eternal love of God found its highest expression, and by which the salvation of believers was secured...Complete comprehension of “the mystery of God, even Christ” lies beyond the capacity of the human mind. The more closely it is considered the greater grows the wonder of its unfathomable depths. Not only was God in Christ during His life on earth, John 14:10 , God was in Christ in His reconciling death, 2 Corinthians 5:19 . This ground is holy, yet is it to be approached, albeit with “reverence and awe,” for all that God has been pleased to reveal is proper subject for the worshipful consideration of His children. Two cautions are needful here, however. We may not go beyond what is written, and we may not expect to eliminate mystery from the Divine sacrifice or to reconcile all that is revealed concerning it; the human point of view is far too low, the human outlook far too limited, to admit of that. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson )
In the introductory verses to this letter to the Galatians, Paul explained that Jesus
Later Paul taught that...
Preacher's Commentary illustrates Christ giving Himself up fro us with the following story - Following the success of the communist revolution in China in 1948, two young men were given the job of destroying Christian chapels. One evening at dusk, after they had devastated a small chapel, they decided to sleep in it that night. As they were lying on the floor there, one of them saw a crucifix so high on the wall they had not been able to reach it. He looked at it steadily for a while, then said to his companion, “Do you see the picture of God nailed to that stick of wood?” “Yes,” the other responded, “but what of it?” The first answered, “You know, I never saw a God who suffered before.” This is something new—a Savior who voluntarily suffers. (Briscoe, D. S., & Ogilvie, L. J. The Preacher's Commentary Series, New Testament. 2003; Thomas Nelson)
Jesus explained His purpose to the disciples declaring that...
In John Jesus declared...
The awesome truth about Jesus' life for our life cannot be repeated enough, as Paul emphasized in many of his letters...
Although Paul clearly states that Jesus of His own volition gave Himself over into the hands of evil men, many of the other uses of paradidomi in the gospels describe the giving over of our Lord Jesus Christ into the hand's and the authority of His various and manifold adversaries...and so we read that Jesus was given over...
S Lewis Johnson speaking of living our lives now based on faith in the Son of God asks...
For (5228) (huper) means for the sake of, in the sense of protection, care, favor, benefit. means in behalf of, for the sake of. In other words died on behalf of us. In short this describes the Christ's substitutionary atonement. It does not merely mean that Christ died for us, for our benefit, but He died instead of us, in our place. He substituted for us, receiving the full impact of the divine wrath against sin.
For us - for our sake, in our place, as our Substitute!
AN OFFERING AND A SACRIFICE TO GOD AS A FRAGRANT AROMA: prosphoran kai thusian to theo eis osmen euodias: (Romans 8:3; 1Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 9:23; 10:12) (Genesis 8:21; Leviticus 1:9,13,17; 3:16; Amos 5:21; 2Corinthians 2:15)
ALL ON THE ALTAR:
Barclay on fragrant aroma - Paul uses a typical OT phrase, "odor of a sweet savor," which goes back to a very old idea, as old as sacrifice itself. When a sacrifice was offered on an altar, the odor of the burning meat went up to heaven and the god to whom the sacrifice was offered was supposed to feast upon that odor (Ed: Be careful here! Our God is not like the pagan deities and He does not need actually eat the food provided to Him in the offerings! See Leviticus 3:11 Comment). A sacrifice which had the odor of a sweet savor was specially pleasing and specially acceptable to the god to whom it was offered. Paul takes the old phrase which time had hallowed--it occurs almost fifty times in the Old Testament and uses it of the sacrifice that Jesus brought to God. The sacrifice of Jesus was well-pleasing to God. What was that sacrifice? It was a life of perfect obedience to God and of perfect love to men, an obedience so absolute and a love so infinite that they accepted the Cross. What Paul says is: "Imitate God. And you can do so only by loving men with the same sacrificial love with which Jesus loved them and forgiving them in love as God has done." (William Barclay's Daily Study Bible)
Offering (4376) (phosphora from prosphero = offer in turn from prós = to, toward + phéro = bring) literally describes a "carrying or bringing to" and thus pictures a presentation. Prosphora in this verse stands for the thing offered, Christ's body and blood offered to His Father in our behalf. The offering includes Christ's life as well as His death.
Prosphora was also used to describe the blood offerings of the Levitical system
Jesus Christ fully God became fully Man that He might be the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world to take away sins (Jn 1:29) fulfilled the shadows of the Levitical offering by becoming an offering for sin on the Cross. for those OT sacrifices were "a mere shadow of what is to come; but to substance belongs to Christ. (Col 2:17-note)
Sacrifice (2378) (thusia from thúo = to sacrifice or kill a sacrificial victim) is that which is offered as a sacrifice. Metonymically it refers to the thing sacrificed, the victim, the flesh of victims, or the part of which was burned on altar (See Commentary on Whole Burnt Offerings). Again Paul digresses to speak of our Lord Jesus Christ in terms of Old Testament shadows, those OT sacrifices of animals killed and offered on the Brazen Offer being a picture of Christ's once for all perfect sacrifice. He offered Himself as a sacrifice to God in full payment of the debt of sin which we as sinners owed, and which the violated law demanded.
As a fragrant (osme - odor) aroma (euodia - fragrance) is related to the OT phrase "soothing aroma," the "odor of rest" (Click Dr Johnson's explanation and application of "odor of rest"; See also the discussion of Soothing Aroma in Leviticus Commentary) Fragrant aroma is literally “a savor of a sweet smell,” or “an odor of a sweet smell" depicting the acceptableness of the offering. The soothing aroma offerings of Lev 1-3 prefigured the voluntary character of Christ's sacrifice. "Fragrant aroma" is a beautiful picture of how the OT burnt offering "sweet savor" sacrifice pointed to the ultimate to the fully satisfying sacrifice of our Great High Priest. In the present context, it also points to what our lives should be to God - a fragrant aroma!
Fragrant (2175) (euodia from euodes = sweet–smelling; which is from eú = well, good + ózo = smell) is literally a "good smell" and thus a sweet smell or a sweet savor, a good fragrance. Metaphorically (as in this verse speaking of Christ's sacrifice - in fact all NT uses are metaphorical) it refers to persons or things (gift from the Philippians Php 4:18) well–pleasing to God. In 2Corinthians euodia describes saints who serve God sacrificially (2Cor 2:15)
Euodia - 3x in NT -
Euodia is used about 58 times in the Septuagint (Lxx) and most often to translated "soothing" in the phrase "soothing aroma to Yahweh" - Ge 8:21; Ex 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 12; 3:5, 11, 16; 4:31; 6:15, 21; 8:21, 28; 17:4, 6; 23:13, 18; Num 15:3, 5, 7, 10, 13f, 24; 18:17; 28:2, 6, 8, 13, 24, 27; 29:2, 6, 8, 11, 13, 36; Ezra 6:10 (= "that they may offer acceptable sacrifices to the God of heaven" = acceptable is translated with euodia); Ezek 6:13 ("soothing aroma to all their idols"!); Ezek 16:19 (also offered to idols - "male images" [Ezek 16:17] "for a soothing aroma"! What abject perversion they practiced!); Ezek 20:28, 41; Da 2:46-note; Da 4:1-note
Aroma (3744) (osme from ózo = to emit an odor whether good or bad) refers to a smell, scent or odor of any kind. BDAG says osme is "the quality of something that affects the mind as with an odor" and is used "of an unpleasant odor stench (Tob 6:17 S; 8:3; Job 6:7)." Osme is used literally of the pleasant aroma of "the costly perfume" Mary used to anoint Jesus' feet in (Jn 12:3). Friberg writes that osme is used "figuratively; from the Middle Eastern concept that an odor from something is communicating its power sweet smell, fragrance (2Cor 2:14, 16)." Here in Eph 5:2 osme is used to describe the "odor" of the sacrifice of Christ as an acceptable aroma or fragrance.
Osme has an interesting meaning in Classic Greek - CL osmē, Ion. odmē, means smell, scent. Antiquity conceived smell in such strongly material terms that the trunk of a tree was said to receive new life and vitality from the scent of water (cf. Job 14:9). Aristotle mentions the view of the Pythagoreans “that some living creatures live on scents” (De Sensu 5). Smell was therefore considered to contain, quite literally, a life-giving force. This materialistic idea of smell as something charged with energy also appears in the sphere of religion. In the revelation of deity the smell proceeding from it is important as “the bearer and producer of divine life” (E. Lohmeyer, Vom göttlichen Wohlgeruch, 1919, 13)....The concept of osmē as a life-giving or death-giving force re-emerges, however, in 2Cor. 2:14-16. The fragrance of the knowledge of God is being diffused by the work of the apostle; indeed, Paul himself is the bearer of the fragrance of Christ. But this fragrance spread abroad through his preaching has a twofold effect: to those who obey the Gospel (Ed: 2Thes 1:8, 1Pe 4:17-note, cp Jn 3:36 - if you truly believe, you will obey. Obedience per se does not save, but is visible, tangible evidence that one has truly believed! See also Paul's use in Ro 1:5, 16:26 of the phrase Obedience of Faith) it brings divine life, while to those who refuse the message it brings eternal death. Paul adopts this naturalistic approach in order to show vividly how the Gospel divides men and calls for their individual decision, but also to emphasize the divine power (dunamis) inherent in the Gospel (Ro 1:16-note). (New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology)
Osme - 6x in 5v - aroma(4), fragrance(1), sweet aroma(1).
Osme - 65v in the Septuagint (Lxx) and like euodia is used often to translate "aroma" in the phrase "soothing aroma to Yahweh" - - Ge 8:21; 27:27; Ex 5:21; 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 12; 3:5, 11, 16; 4:31; 6:15, 21; 8:21, 28; 17:4, 6; 23:13, 18; 26:31; Nu 15:3, 5, 7, 10, 13-14, 24; 18:17; 28:2, 6, 8, 13, 24, 27; 29:2, 6, 8, 11, 13, 36; Job 6:7; 14:9; Song 1:3-4, 12; 2:13; 4:10-11; 7:8, 13; Isa 3:24; 34:3; Jer 25:10; 48:11; Ezek 6:13; 16:19; 20:28, 41; Dan 3:27-note (= "nor had the smell of fire [even] come upon them"); Da 4:1
S Lewis Johnson has an interesting comment on the sweet-smelling savor - Now when he says “to God, for a sweet-smelling savor,” students of the Bible know immediately what he is talking about, don’t we? Don’t we? We know what he’s talking about; he’s specifically about such places as the burnt offering. Three times in the description of the burnt offering, when the Israelite brought the animal, put his hand on the animal’s head, and the animal was slain, three times in that first chapter it was said, that that sacrifice produced the odor of a sweet smell to the Lord. Now, the interesting thing about that Hebrew expression (see Lev 1:9, 13, 17) is that it really means something like this: an odor of rest to the Lord (Ed note: Hebrew word translated sweet is (05207) nihoah = restful, quieting, tranquilizing). In other words, it’s an expression that means, essentially, that as God looks at the sacrifice which is offered in paym ent of a debt owed to Him, He rests! He finds it an odor of rest. So, instead of executing his judgment against the person who has offended the throne of God, he rests, satisfied. The penalty is paid. So that he no longer desires and finds it necessary to execute his judgment. An odor of rest. The Lord Jesus expressed this when he said on the cross, “It is finished!” (Jn 19:30-note); the Greek verb Jesus cried out in some of His last words on the Cross was tetelestai = "It is finished" = "Paid in full!") And the finishing of the offering led the throne of God to smell a sweet savor, an odor of rest. So that God is satisfied by the cross of Christ, and men are saved when they, too, become satisfied with what Christ has done and stop relying on their own good works, or anything else they may be relying upon in order to be saved. (Pdf)
Wayne Barber explains how it is even possible for believers to imitate divine love...
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F B Meyer devotional - GOD'S LOVE WAS EXPRESSED IN A SUPREME SACRIFICE. Wherever there is true love, there must be giving, and giving to the point of sacrifice. Love is not satisfied with giving trinkets; it must give at the cost of sacrifice: it must give blood, life, all. And it was so with the love of God. "He so loved the world, that He gave his only-begotten Son." "Christ also loved and gave Himself up, an offering and a sacrifice to God."
And this was very grateful to the Father. It was as the odour of a sweet smell, reminding us of the sweet savour offerings of the ancient Levitical code (Lev 3:5, etc.). To us the anguish of the cross seems one awful scene of horror; but it pleased the Lord to bruise Him.
In love, so measureless, so reckless of cost, for those who were naturally so unworthy of it, there was a spectacle which filled heaven with fragrance and God's heart with joy.
HUMAN LOVE SHOULD BE MODELED ON THE DIVINE. It is no ordinary love to which we are summoned. Whether in the home circle, where man and wife live in each other's presence, or in the daily walk and conversation of life, we are to imitate God, as his dear children. It is not enough to love as our fellows do. We must love as Christ did. Our one ideal must be, "as Christ loved."
To love foes to make them friends; to love in the teeth of obloquy and shame; to love to the point of self-giving and blood; to love the foul till the pollution gives place to purity and beauty --such is the love of Christ. Let us sit at his feet and learn of Him, until we reflect Him, and are changed into the same image from glory to glory. Oh to love like Thee, blessed Master! and that we may, fill us with thy love until our cup run over!
WALK IN LOVE. We are to imitate God's love in Christ. The love that gives, that counts no cost too great, and, in sacrificing itself for others, offers all to God, and does all for His sake. Such was the love of Jesus--sweet to God, as the scent of fields of new-mown grass in June; and this must be our model.
Not (only) to those who love us, but who hate us; not (only) to those who are pleasant and agreeable, but who repel; not because our natural feelings are excited, but because we will to minister, even to the point of the cross (Ed: Not by self-reliance but by surrender to the Spirit's enabling power and efficacy), must our love (the Spirit's love in and through us) go out. And every time we thus sacrifice ourselves to another (enabled by the Spirit Who gives us the desire and the power - Php 2:13NLT-note) for the sake of the love of God, we enter into some of the meaning of the sacrifice of Calvary (Ed: Not in a meritorious way), and there is wafted up to God the odor of a sweet smell (Ed: God "smells" the "sweet aroma" of our unqualified obedience. And remember "To obey is better than sacrifice! He wants our hearts before He wants our works! cp Ps 51:16-17). (Devotional Commentary on Ephesians)
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Love Letters - Ephesians 5:2 - To "walk in love" means that we continually do the little acts of kindness that can make life bearable and better for another person. One practical way to express our love costs only the price of a postage stamp—plus paper, ink, and a little thought. All of us have felt the nudge to write a letter—an unexpected note that could brighten another person's day. Perhaps it is a note of appreciation, an expression of concern, or a compliment for a task well done. Too often the letter goes unwritten and the impulse is unexpressed. We convince ourselves that we don't have time, or that our letter won't matter.
A young minister cherished a note he received from a busy architect in his congregation. The letter said simply, "Your sermon met me where I was on Sunday—at the crossroads of confusion and hurt. Thanks for preaching it!" Those words met the pastor where he lived—at the intersection of discouragement and pain—and encouraged him to keep on in the ministry. The note took less than 5 minutes to write.
Can you think of someone who needs encouragement, thanks, or a reminder that you are praying for him or her? "Walk in love" to the mailbox today. —H W Robinson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
It was only a brief little note,
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Why Love Begets Hate - Ephesians 5:2 - If there is one thing believers in Jesus should be known for, it is love. The word love appears in Scripture more than 500 times. The essence of the gospel is love, as we see in John 3:16. "For God so loved the world . . . ." The epistle of 1John 3:16 elaborates: "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us."
Christians are to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13), love their neighbors as themselves (Galatians 5:14), live a life of love (Ephesians 5:2), and love with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18). So, if Jesus and His followers are all about love, why do some people love to hate us? Why are there, according to one estimate, 200 million persecuted believers in the world today?
Jesus told us why. He said to His disciples, "Everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed" (John 3:20). Jesus is the Light. When He walked this earth, people hated Him because He exposed the darkness of their sin. We are now His light in this world (Matthew 5:14); therefore, the world will also hate us (John 15:19).
Our task is to be channels of God's love and light, even if we are hated in return. —Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Some will hate you, some will love you;